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20 month old refusing to eat!

(9 Posts)
GlummyMummy Sun 24-Jan-16 13:55:11

My nearly 20 month old daughter has suddenly started refusing to eat anything! This has been going on for about 10 days now. It started with her having a bad cold and cough, so that every time she put any food in her mouth she coughed, choked and gagged and spat it back out! We decided to not worry about it until she was better so just tried to get her to drink as much as possible (she doesn't drink very much normally), and bought smoothie drinks etc to try and get vitamins in her that way. We took her to the doctors again the other day and he says that although her throat is still red, there is nothing that needs treated now. Although she seems much better in herself (temperature gone etc), she is still being a nightmare at mealtimes! I am ending up wasting so much food as most of it is ending up on the floor!

It's almost as if she was sore to swallow while ill and now she is remembering that and refusing to eat so it's become a psychological thing rather than a medical thing now. It could also be combined with a developmental phase as she seems to be particularly upset by us coming at her with anything on a spoon. She occasionally takes a little bit of finger food but when we first present her with it she has a meltdown and throws it back at us!

Anyone experienced this before and if so, what advice could you offer? Any good ideas for food I can try which would offer some fruit and veg as she is flatly refusing this just now? Things like pasta which she previously loved are now a no-go! It's so frustrating as prior to this illness she was an excellent eater, eating anything we offered and lots of it!

Rinceoir Sun 24-Jan-16 20:23:01

My DD is the same age, never been a great eater and tends to refuse everything after an illness also. I try not to worry about fruit and veg- I offer them, but don't worry if she refuses for a short time. I would try to entirely remove the pressure at the moment- offer food on a plate to pick at while she's playing, maybe if Peppa is on she would have something. I would aim to get her used to having food in her tummy again. Although I've been told on here before that's a terrible idea, but it has worked for my DD.

omri Sun 24-Jan-16 23:32:16

Went through the exact same thing recently. Dd (21 months) was very ill for a few days in the first week of December (high fever and sore throat). She went completely off her food while she was ill but drank lots. However she pretty much lost her appetite completely for the next 4 weeks. Refused everything except mandarins and bottles of milk. Really stressed me out. I offered her a plate of food at every meal as well as snacks but she didn't touch anything; not even yoghurts (her favourite).

Then one day in early January we were having spaghetti bolognese for dinner and she had 2 big bowls!!

Hang in there. She will eat again...
Maybe give her a multi vit in the meantime ?

GlummyMummy Tue 26-Jan-16 18:58:26

thanks for your suggestions - really useful.

Rinceoir - we have been trying to leave out nibbles of bits and pieces to offer her while she's playing. Most of it is ending up on the carpet but I think it's better than us sitting staring at her and coming towards her with a spoon!

omri - that sounds like exactly the same thing my daughter had, she too has been keeping up her milk intake but refusing everything else except occasionally yoghurt. It is stressful isn't it! My daughter hasn't been a great sleeper so it's horrible putting her to bed on an empty stomach too! I do wonder if its also coinciding with a developmental phase as she has started saying "no" to everything. I wouldn't be so concerned about her eating if she drank more throughout the day, but she really doesn't drink much at all, despite our best efforts!

Fingers crossed things will improve soon

MrsH2525 Wed 27-Jan-16 15:17:41

I had this battle for about 6 months. My DS has finally come out of it at 2. The struggle has been real lol! HV told me not to worry as she once met a child who ate nothing but yoghurt for a month. Its almost like they decide oh I have a choice I'm not going to eat that... I gave my DS those abidec vitamins in his fruit juice or milk until he got past it. He never lost weight or looked like he was suffering from anything but just at kept an eye on him.

GlummyMummy Wed 27-Jan-16 18:30:42

MrsH2525-oh dear! 6 months, how depressing!!! ;-) Did yours start after your child was ill?

Rinceoir Wed 27-Jan-16 18:41:42

Have you tried cooking with him? I would let my DD mix and stir things and sometimes she would taste them. I tried not to make an issue out of it, although inside I was really worried as she didn't gain any weight for months. I remember at baby/toddler groups the other mums bemoaning their children's lack of interest in veg and I was so jealous- I would have been happy if mine ate biscuits! In the end I left food all over the place for her to eat, didn't worry about the mess, and tried to include her in food preparation. I don't know if these things helped or if she snapped out of it herself but she started eating.

MrsH2525 Wed 27-Jan-16 18:46:27

No he just decided one day to be awkward yours probably won't last that long, ours started around 18 months and when we got to 20 months I asked for help from the HV and that's what she told me lol hoping it's q quick phase for you x

GlummyMummy Fri 29-Jan-16 13:41:22

Rinceoir, cooking together is a good idea, as I suppose if it's about them having a bit more control over their lives then this would get around that. thanks for the suggestion.
MrsH2525 - Thanks, me too!! Hope you are over the worst!

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